Friday, August 19, 2011

1600km to Nagasaki and back

Chinese Temple at Temple Row in Nagasaki City

Same Chinese Temple

Another temple on Temple Row

Gunkan Jima

The ruins of Gunkan Jima

Obon parade.

Each family creates a "boat" to honor their deceased relatives.

Everyone parades down the street with their boats, banging gongs and blowing up fire crackers.

The night was rainy and cool so the smoke from the fire crackers gave everything an eerie glow.

Truly a wonderful celebration to be able to witness.

Glover Garden, where all the foreign houses remain.

Glover Garden is located on the side of a mountain so you can get a nice view of the harbor from there.
After three days, I think I've finally recovered from my trip to Nagasaki (two days of 14 hours of straight driving... plus days in between PACKED with walking around Nagasaki city and it's steep steep hills). The above pictures were taken with my 300 Yen film camera (I think I've finally gotten the hang of how to use the old-school focus on the lense) and I think they came out kind of fun :)

Friday was spent driving. Saturday, me and Liz went to Gunkan Jima with her friends and then looked at the temples on temple row. I've wanted to go to Gunkan Jima since mountain sensei told me about it (and his love for ruins) last school year. The island has been people-less since the 80's and is completely broken down and overgrown. An interesting view into a post-apocalyptic world, even on a man-made island!

Sunday we went to Glover Garden where all the old western-style houses remain from the 1800's. They were gorgeous and made me kind of nostalgic for home, haha. Then at night we went to see the last installment of Harry Potter (GREAT ending I thought, even though I never read all the books) and had dinner at the most AMAZING Italian place. REAL cheese on the pizza and REAL ceasar salad dressing!!! Monday was spent at the Nagasaki Peace Museum learning up on the bombings and seeing the Peace Park. Then Monday night, we went to the Obon festival. Apparently obon is celebrated differently in Nagasaki. Everyone builds boats for their family members and parade down the street to the harbor. Once at the habor, the boats are loaded on a barge and then floated out to sea. I think they may also be burned.... but I'm not sure. Anyway, the night was cool and because it was raining, the gongs and smoke from the fire crackers was super cool and eerie. I couldn't look away from it all, the weather was extremely appropriate for the type of ceremony/celebration that was going on.

The whole trip was a lot of fun, and it was nice seeing Liz again (it had been over a year). I also got to indulge in my latest dorky endeavor: collecting all of the "ご当地" "gotochi" postcards. I got 6 prefecture's cards from this trip!!! I also probably wasted a lot of time running around trying to find large post offices in each prefecture... but oh well. It was my VACATION.

More updates on Yosakoi later (since I went the Thursday before Nagasaki and have lots of fun pictures~).

Can't forget Nagasaki's famous food, カステラ〜 sooo yummy <3

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